Soil: The great connector of our lives now and beyond COVID-19

Rosa M. Poch*, Lucia H.C. Dos Anjos, Rafla Attia, Megan Balks, Adalberto Benavides-Mendoza, Martha M. Bolaños-Benavides, Costanza Calzolari, Lydia M. Chabala, Peter C. De Ruiter, Samuel Francke-Campaña, Fernando García Préchac, Ellen R. Graber, Siosiua Halavatau, Kutaiba M. Hassan, Edmond Hien, Ke Jin, Mohammad Khan, Maria Konyushkova, David A. Lobb, Matshwene E. MoshiaJun Murase, Generose Nziguheba, Ashok K. Patra, Gary Pierzynski, Natalia Rodríguez Eugenio, Ronald Vargas Rojas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Humanity depends on the existence of healthy soils, both for the production of food and for ensuring a healthy, biodiverse environment, among other functions. COVID-19 is threatening food availability in many places of the world due to the disruption of food chains, lack of workforce, closed borders and national lockdowns. As a consequence, more emphasis is being placed on local food production, which may lead to more intensive cultivation of vulnerable areas and to soil degradation. In order to increase the resilience of populations facing this pandemic and future global crises, transitioning to a paradigm that relies more heavily on local food production on soils that are carefully tended and protected through sustainable management is necessary. To reach this goal, the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommends five active strategies: improved access to land, sound land use planning, sustainable soil management, enhanced research, and investments in education and extension. The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalSOIL
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020

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